As ecommerce develops and D2C website trading teams become more sophisticated, we often see brands making the same mistakes. This is often due to a number of factors but usually boils down to either a lack of internal knowledge in the D2C team, or under-resourced teams that don’t have enough time to complete the tasks necessary to drive consistent growth.
Below is a list of the most common ways brands go wrong with D2C website trading, and how to avoid them. Although this is not an exhaustive list, it gives an insight into the very real and everyday problems that brands come to Practicology to help fix.
The foundation of strong D2C website trading performance is understanding how your customers are engaging with your site, why, and how you can improve this. To do so, the data you base your decisions on needs to be reliable. A problem our clients frequently face is a Google Analytics (or similar) account that hasn’t been set up correctly or isn’t measuring the data you actually need.
You can’t optimise what you can’t measure. Analytics is all about making informed decisions in order to deliver positive change. If you have a partial or inaccurate data set, you won’t be able to make informed decisions and actually run the risk of making the wrong ones.
Even if you manage to get your analytics correct, we find that brands often don’t know how to effectively use this data to truly understand how their different D2C website trading channels interact, and the touch points that work (or don’t work) with their audience. You should be asking yourself: what are customers buying through what channel? Do they buy through your ads or do they come back again through search engines? How many touch points does it take to achieve a sales conversion?
We remind our customers time and again, no matter how well you target your marketing activity, the experience on your D2C trading website will ultimately dictate the revenue your activities will drive. If you’re consistently driving qualified traffic to your website, the data is correct and conversions are still down, the problem is likely the website itself. Are the calls to action (CTAs) strong enough? Does it load quickly? Is your delivery proposition attractive?
When our team begins to trade a client’s D2C trading website, we tend to start by helping our clients to answer these fundamental questions and start to transform the experience onsite, before beginning to drive traffic through marketing channels.
This is a common and fundamental error we’ve seen brands make; focussing too strongly on the immediate sale. Brands tend to measure performance week-to-week only, and do not pay enough attention to who is buying and why. You need to assess your customer data to understand what they buy, how often and in what combination. This data should then be used to target customers more effectively now, and in the future. Investing in long-term customer relationships and boosting their lifetime value is vital for a brand’s future success.
Our data team has helped clients to find trends in consumer data and help them understand their customers more effectively, using their behaviours onsite to build a stronger, longer term relationship with them. To date this has ranged from setting minimum order values, product bundling, defining the delivery proposition, and even addressing the product range itself on the D2C trading website.
Too often, brands overlook the fact that true conversion doesn’t end at the checkout; the conversion channel is ever-increasingly complex and needs to be considered as such. Our D2C team has developed this diagram of the conversion funnel to help our clients understand how channels interact, and therefore how to target their customers more effectively.
There are many stages to the purchase decision, and depending on the stage your customer is at, you need to talk to them in a different way. We’ve helped clients break down their conversion funnel and understand that they need more product information onsite, better visibility in search, or even a simpler payment process. We also help them to understand what happens next, and how to turn that customer into an advocate and ambassador for the brand, which helps to drive awareness and thus feeds back into the top of the funnel.
One of the biggest challenges facing product merchandisers is dealing with products that are either temporarily or permanently out of stock. Mismanagement of old products can lead to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) dips, high bounce rates and inefficient dynamic search ad performance.
One of the most common issues we have seen is old, out-of-stock products being left live onsite without appropriate steps being taken to explain the situation to the customer. Such product pages continue to receive traffic but lead to a high bounce rate and a poor customer experience as a result.
At Pattern we can help you to develop a product management protocol that works for your team. The solution tends to depend on the frequency with which your stock levels change, the platform your website sits on, the development support you have, and the agility with which your site can be updated.
Do you need help with your D2C website trading? Practicology’s Outsourced Ecommerce D2C Team has a plethora of experience managing ecommerce trading for a wide range of consumer brands.
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Walmart.com has announced important changes regarding the “Was Price” and promotions on the digital marketplace. These updates make it more important than ever to optimize your price through implementing proper strategies, controlling your distribution channels, and being intentional about your pricing strategy.
And, as with all digital marketplaces, succeeding on Walmart.com requires performing well in all areas of The Ecommerce Equation. Which means as you optimize your listings’ pricing, as well as traffic, conversions, and availability, your revenue increases.
Pattern has the resources ecommerce brands need to optimize on marketplaces for each factor in the ecommerce equation. We have the technology and strategists to help you improve your traffic, the brand dedication and passion to help you achieve greater conversions, connections to econtrol specialists who help brands regain marketplace control, and the data you need to be able to make smart forecasting decisions for better product availability.
Below, we’ll cover how Walmart.com’s recent platform changes impact ecommerce brands’ ability to drive traffic and conversions for their products and how to strategize around them to work best in your brand’s favor. But first, let’s go over the changes themselves.
Walmart.com’s newest changes reflect their mission to be the leader in low, everyday pricing. Therefore, Walmart’s customers come to the platform and expect low prices no matter what. Overall, these updates give consumers more visibility into the value they’re experiencing and hold brands more accountable in the pricing information they display.
Due to Walmart’s updates, in order for your products to qualify for a strikethrough and show “Reduced Price” or “Clearance” flags on Walmart.com, your product’s promotion must be at least 10% off the “Was Price.” (Note: “Reduced Price” is the most common type of badging. Your teams can request this badge when filling out promotion upload files.)
To specifically qualify for “Clearance,” the product needs to be discontinued and no longer replenished after selling through the remaining inventory.
Although “Rollback” is sometimes seen on site, it is a form of 1P-only badging.
Walmart now prohibits promotions lasting longer than 365 days.
Walmart’s “Was Price” was previously loosely defined and manually inputted on Walmart.com as an MSRP. Now, stricter rules are in place with regulations in the broader market to encourage enforcement and protect consumers.
The “Was Price” is now defined by these terms on Walmart:
Either the 90-day median price paid by customers for the item on Walmart.com (excluding special promotions like holiday campaigns, limited time deals, rollbacks, and clearance);
Or the median price offered by Walmart or Marketplace sellers for the item on Walmart.com for at least 28 out of the last 90 days (excluding special promotions like holiday campaigns, limited time deals, rollbacks, and clearance).
To protect your “Was Price” from price erosion, be intentional when planning promotions. To be most effective in your promotion, you’ll want to be able to give your customers a large enough discount to qualify for the slash-through and reduced price badging.
Without the right pricing strategy in place, your products are in danger of falling into deeper and deeper discounting as you chase the ability to achieve slash-throughs and proper badging. Without the slash-throughs and badging, you’ll lose the ability to easily communicate the increased value of your product and the traffic and conversions you’re trying to earn by running the promotion in the first place.
It’s important to keep your products’ prices as steady as possible to protect your promotion periods. As you prevent high-low price fluctuations, you’ll be able to use slash-through prices and promotional badges like “Reduced Price” and “Clearance” to your advantage in driving better traffic and conversions for your listings.
Without the ability to display badging, a promotion falls flat even if the price has been dropped. With steady pricing over time, you’ll be able to keep a stable “Was Price” and ultimately enjoy more rewarding promotional periods long-term.
It’s important to remember that the “Was Price” policy also applies to 1P and other 3P sellers representing your products on Walmart.com. Unfortunately, your other strategies will be ineffective if other sellers are breaking your MAP policy or playing the high-low price game. So, it’s more important than ever for brands to be conscious of their distribution channels and keep rogue and unauthorized sellers in check.
By allowing Pattern to be the authorized seller of your brand’s products and working with Vorys eControl law firm to eliminate rogue sellers, you can be confident in creating and executing a powerful selling strategy on Walmart.com and other digital marketplaces. As a 3P seller partner, Pattern is truly invested in our partners’ success, we’ll help you to create and execute a strategy that truly prioritizes the long-term performance of your products on digital marketplaces.
Contact us today to learn more about the changes on Walmart.com and how you can optimize your performance.
If you’re in the global ecommerce space, you are most likely aware of Amazon, and probably selling your products on the marketplace. With over $470 billion in sales in 2021 alone, Amazon stands as the third largest company in the world based on revenue. The ecommerce giant is a household name in the U.S. and working hard to grow its market share across five continents worldwide.
Having your products available on Amazon and being competitive there, though, are definitely two different things. If you want to really succeed on Amazon, you’ll need specialized insight into how Amazon works and how to make it work for you. So, for many brands, it’s a great idea to work with an Amazon Search Engine Optimization (SEO) agency.
At Pattern, Amazon SEO optimization service is one of our key competencies. We understand that technology, data-driven insights and expertise are the most important tools brands can leverage to win top listing spots on digital marketplaces. With expert teams and years of experience, we help brands conquer the Profitability Death Spiral as they compete with other products and sellers online. We offer Amazon SEO agency services as a core solution to brands that need more resources to get ahead.
An Amazon SEO agency serves brands by improving their products’ rank and listing performance on Amazon. They make strategic decisions about ad spending and placement that lead to higher traffic, conversions, and revenue for ecommerce brands.
A great Amazon SEO Agency partner will:
Unfortunately, many Amazon SEO agencies profit in unfair ways from your brands’ perceived success based on the ROAS numbers they provide. This is done through including branded search terms in ROAS reports, which naturally skew listing performance.
Let’s say, for instance, your brand is called “Annie’s” and you sell lollipops. Your brand has a very high likelihood of winning the top listing spots on Amazon for lollipop search terms that are paired with “Annie’s,” your brand name. So, SEO agencies will spend your ad money on those terms and report a very high ROAS.
To avoid scenarios like these, it’s best to look for an agency that either calculates their profits on metrics other than your ROAS scores or weighs branded search terms differently in the performance metrics reports. Regardless of your Amazon SEO agency’s cost structure, you should align onbranded search terms before committing to a scope of work.
A great indicator of a high-quality Amazon SEO agency is the level of insight they can provide into your competitors’ listing positioning and how it compares to yours. Data fanaticism is so important at Pattern that we’ve developed proprietary technology to display this exact information with precise detail for every brand we work with. In fact, you can find our free version here to see how you compare to some of your top competitors based on ASIN.
It’s certainly possible to improve your Amazon search performance with blind spending strategies. But a truly great solution will help you to know where your dollars are at their most powerful and competitive.
Amazon’s A10 algorithm prioritizes customer satisfaction—it wants to show consumers the best products that align with their search intent to improve conversions and sales. So, the best way to gain momentum on Amazon is to work on incremental wins.
Improving your performance on more obscure search terms that align with your customers’ search intent is a great way to increase ROAS for the long term. A10 will reward your success with better rankings on higher-volume search terms and the virtuous cycle can help you conquer your most-coveted listing spots. And the best part? This process of gaining momentum, if done right, will naturally decrease your ad spend over time as Amazon recognizes your value and works with you to keep your products at the top of consumers’ search results.
As an Amazon SEO specialist, Pattern knows how to help your brand win better success for long-term profitability on Amazon. With our data-driven tools and brilliant teams of ecommerce experts, we help brands with listing management, content optimization, Amazon ad strategies, and more.
Contact us to learn more about our SEO optimization services.